The term greige carpet can refer to one of two things. Firstly, it could refer to the color of the carpet as a finished product. Secondly, it could refer to the unfinished fibers used to make carpet.
Greige is a relatively new color term, and it refers to a color that is somewhere between gray and beige. Over the last several years, greige has become one of the most popular colors in interior décor. It is often described as the ‘perfect’ neutral – a color that is neither too warm nor too cool, and therefore goes with pretty much anything.
A quick internet search of the term ‘greige carpet’ brings up pages and pages of results which feature different carpet styles in greige tones. Walk into any carpet retailer and ask for greige carpet, and the salesperson will likely guide you towards samples of the trendy color. However, in the carpet industry, the term ‘greige goods’ technically refers to something a bit different.
Greige good is the term used to refer to synthetic carpet fiber that has been manufactured, but that has not yet been dyed. There are essentially two ways to add color to carpet fiber: the first is to add it at the beginning of the manufacturing process (solution dyeing) and the second is to add it at the end of the process (piece or beck dyeing).
Solution dyeing involves adding the color to the liquid chemicals before actually making the carpet fibers. With the solution-dyed method, the fiber is produced in the desired color. So, for example, if you wanted to make a red carpet, you would add the red dye to the chemical compound at the start of the manufacturing process, and when the finished fiber came out at the end of the process, it would be red.
Dyeing Greige Fibers
In the other method of adding color to fibers, the fiber is first created without any color added. This finished fiber product is called a greige good because, without any color, the fiber has the appearance of being greige.
Color is then added to the greige fiber in one of several ways, depending on the exact manufacturing method. Essentially, however, each method involves dipping the fiber in a dye to produce the desired color.
Advantage of Greige Goods
For carpet manufacturers, there is a big advantage that comes with producing the carpet fibers in greige form and then adding color afterward. Doing so enables the manufacturer to have a large quantity of this ‘colorless’ fiber at the ready, and it can then turn the fiber into any color as it receives orders from customers. This ensures that the manufacturer is not left with a lot of inventory in a color that is not selling (for example, a warehouse full of red carpet when nobody is ordering red carpet).
So, the term greige carpet can refer to a couple of different things. Generally speaking, when shopping for new carpet, you only need to be concerned with the final color of the carpet—which could be greige, if you prefer.